Ask A (Producer For) Rapper(s)
The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week's Producer: Chris Rockaway
Note: Rockaway is a producer here in town. He's worked with everyone from UGK to Ron Artest. Now you're all caught up
Note #2: Rockaway very well may be kin to Andrew Dice Clay. Parts of some of his answers are offensive. If you were not planning on reading about anal sex, the Flintstones and Mormon, you might want to jump past this interview. Fair warning.
This Week's Subject: Crafting songs; Ron Artest's craziness; Fred Durst.
Ask A Rapper: What's the process like when you're working on a song with rapper? Does he come to you with an idea of what he wants the song to sound like, and then you build it from there? Or does he just show up to the shop and pick out a beat he likes from a catalog, like he was shopping at Walmart for fabric or something?
Chris: It's different every time. I prefer to work from scratch so the results sound like a real song and not just some rapper on top of some beat. Of course, some people like to get the beat first, but with people like Floss and Presto, it's usually from scratch. However, with the more "known" rappers I've worked with, they've just bought beats from my vast library. Swag.
AAR: Do producers have "shops"? Or is your "shop" a keyboard next to your twin bed in your bedroom?
C: Nowadays, with music production equipment getting more and more affordable and, as you mentioned, traversing to the arena of laptops, small keyboards, etc., it might make sense for me to keep a laptop filled with drum samples, fruity loops, and inter-species pornography next to my blow up bed.
However, since I utilize all sorts of live instruments (percussion, drum sets, real pianos, guitars, etc) in what I do, I have a fairly large studio for a beat-maker. In fact, I'm designing a second one as we speak. Cy Fyre and Dustin Prestige have already moved into two of the other rooms, and we've made some truly interplanetary arena rock in that studio already. Think Styx being buttfucked by Satan while eating a Flintstones push-pop. Winning.